Haze engulfs the city on February 6, 2018.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT File photo)
Haze engulfs the city on February 6, 2018.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT File photo)

Mumbai air in 2018 most polluted in 20 years

By Badri Chatterjee | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 23, 2019 01:21 AM IST

Despite the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) claiming levels of particulate matter (PM) have declined in Mumbai, data released on Friday shows the city’s level of PM 10 in 2018 was the highest in over 20 years. On Friday, data gathered by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was released in the Lok Sabha by the Union environment ministry.

According to the CPCB, PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels in Mumbai have been steadily increasing.

Data from the environment ministry showed the annual average of PM 10 levels in Mumbai were 166µg/m3 in 2018 and 151µg/m3 in 2017. The annual safe limit for PM 10, according to the CPCB is 60 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3). The third highest in two decades was recorded in 2008 (127µg/m3).

A sharp drop in particulate pollution was recorded in 2001 when levels fell to 67.2µg/m3 while in 1999, they were at 115µg/m3. PM2.5 levels, which are being measured since 2015, were also the highest in 2018 for Mumbai. Levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels were within limits (see box).

PM 10 and 2.5 are solid and liquid pollutants of less than 10 and 2.5 microns in size respectively and are suspended in air. These particles can enter the respiratory system and cause health complications. “Current levels may not impact on a daily basis, but may lead to chronic health ailments over a decade of exposure,” said a CBCB official.

“There is an overall increasing trend for PM10 and PM2.5 in Mumbai despite having the advantage of the sea breeze,” said VK Shukla, in-charge of air quality management, CPCB. “As of now, vehicular and industrial emission, construction dust and solid fuel emissions are the highest threats. Mitigation measures for all sources have been addressed under the air pollution action plan for Mumbai. The plan has been approved by CPCB and is already under implementation by the state.”

The environment ministry’s data contradicts the MPCB’s claim on World Environment Day (June 5) that there has been a 6% decline in PM2.5 levels and 9% decline in PM10 levels in 2018-19 from 2017-18, across major cities in Maharashtra including Mumbai.

Annual average PM10 data in Mumbai, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), was 110µg/m3, 56µg/m3 lesser than the Centre’s data. SAFAR monitors air quality across 10 stations in the city. The environment ministry’s data is based on data recorded by MPCB, from two stations in Sion and Bandra.

PM10 levels for other cities in Maharashtra, such as Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad, all witnessed an increasing trend. Thane was the only city that recorded a decreasing trend.

“The rise in PM is a concern, but we are trying to understand the exact location of monitoring stations and whether there is any site specific aberration which is getting captured as city data or whether it is a city-wide phenomena,” said Sudhir Shrivastava, chairman, MPCB.

“Mumbai’s action plan has already been initiated focusing on broad objectives. Reduction of private vehicles with planned introduction of cleaner fuels, increasing public transport, reducing resuspension of windblown dust from construction and demolition waste, and distributing more liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections to slum areas are some of the examples,” he said.

Experts said had Mumbai been landlocked and not had the advantage of swift dispersion of pollutants through its sea breeze, pollution levels would have significantly higher.

“The rising air pollution trend is a clear indicator that monitoring and enforcement are not being balanced. To curtail this rise, fossil fuel consumption has to be restricted at source and regulating industries by implementing stricter emission standards,” said Sunil Dahiya, campaigner, Global Air Pollution unit, Greenpeace.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The renovated Dadoji Konddev Stadium in Thane. (Praful Gangurde / HT Photo)
The renovated Dadoji Konddev Stadium in Thane. (Praful Gangurde / HT Photo)

Despite renovation, Thane stadium still not the ideal sports ground

By Ankita G Menon, Thane
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 01:00 AM IST
Three years since the Dadoji Konddev Stadium has been shut for renovation, sportspersons from Thane and nearby cities are left without a proper place to practice
Close
Thane guardian minister Eknath Shinde assured to come up with an effective solution with the help of experts and solve the issue of green weeds growing in the river. (Rishikesh Choudhary/HT photo)
Thane guardian minister Eknath Shinde assured to come up with an effective solution with the help of experts and solve the issue of green weeds growing in the river. (Rishikesh Choudhary/HT photo)

Kalyan-Dombivli civic body appoints agency to study sewer lines in city limits

By Sajana Nambiar, Kalyan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:57 AM IST
In the wake of the demand to make the Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers pollution, the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has appointed a private agency to study all the sewer lines meeting the water bodies in KDMC limits
Close
An antigen test being done in Kalyan. (Rishikesh Choudhary/HT photo)
An antigen test being done in Kalyan. (Rishikesh Choudhary/HT photo)

189 new Covid cases in Kalyan, Dombivli

By Sajana Nambiar, Kalyan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:48 AM IST
The Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has managed to complete 99 per cent of the first dose of vaccination for health workers
Close
An RT-PCR test in Vashi. (Bachchan Kumar/HT)
An RT-PCR test in Vashi. (Bachchan Kumar/HT)

Covid cases increase by 45% in Navi Mumbai

By Raina Shine, Navi Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:44 AM IST
In the last 15 days, Covid cases in Navi Mumbai have gone up by 45 per cent and the doubling rate has come down from 676 to 404 days
Close
Warning sign for crocodile at Nerul creek. (Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)
Warning sign for crocodile at Nerul creek. (Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)

Crocodile warning board to keep people away from Navi Mumbai creek

By Raina Shine, Navi Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:41 AM IST
Following the rescue of a crocodile from the pond behind Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation headquarters in Belapur, the corporation has put up boards at the Sector 6 creek adjoining Palm Beach Road in Nerul, warning people to stay away from the water
Close
 (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Maharashtra sees over 8,000 Covid-19 cases for 4th day in a row

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:29 AM IST
Maharashtra on Saturday recorded 8,623 new Covid-19 infections, taking the count to 2,146,777. It also recorded 51 deaths, taking the toll to 52,092
Close
Sitaram Kunte. (Hindustan Times)
Sitaram Kunte. (Hindustan Times)

Sitaram Kunte appointed as new Maharashtra chief secretary

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:07 AM IST
Senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Sitaram Kunte has been appointed as the chief secretary of Maharashtra on Saturday
Close
 (AP)
(AP)

Centre’s new social media regulations dictatorial: Maharashtra IT minister Satej Patil

By Eeshanpriya MS, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:04 AM IST
Maharashtra minister of state for information technology (IT) Satej Patil on Saturday criticised the Central government’s regulations for social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter and over-the-top (OTT) players such as content streaming platforms, calling them “dictatorial” and a threat to democracy and freedom of expression
Close
A worker sanitises a classroom at a college in Mumbai. (HT FILE)
A worker sanitises a classroom at a college in Mumbai. (HT FILE)

Pandemic effect: Maharashtra issues guidelines to tackle learning losses

By Ankita Bhatkhande, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:00 AM IST
With schools in the state remaining shut for nearly 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra education department has issued guidelines for addressing concerns about loss of learning over these months.
Close
Healthcare worker collects swab samples of Govandi residents. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Healthcare worker collects swab samples of Govandi residents. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

RT-PCR samples now tested at Mumbai airport

By Neha LM Tripathi, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:00 AM IST
Passengers undergoing the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) may be able to get their tests results quicker
Close
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. (HT FILE)
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. (HT FILE)

Covid-19 impact: Social sciences students stare at bleak placement season

By Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:55 PM IST
Students from social sciences courses in the city are facing a bleak placement season this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Close
Mumbai: 3 YouTubers held for uploading obscene videos, molesting girls
Mumbai: 3 YouTubers held for uploading obscene videos, molesting girls

Mumbai: 3 YouTubers held for uploading obscene videos, molesting girls

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:53 PM IST
City cyber police has arrested three YouTubers for allegedly creating obscene and vulgar prank videos in public places in Mumbai
Close
Bombay high court. (HT FILE)
Bombay high court. (HT FILE)

Bombay HC refuses 6-year-old’s custody to his ‘poor’ biological parents

By Kanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:52 PM IST
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court (HC) on Friday upheld a family court order, refusing to grant custody of a six-year-old boy to his poor biological parents, observing that the interests of the child will be best served by continuing him with his rich adoptive parents, a childless couple from Nagpur.
Close
The plan is to have barges that will allow citizens to sail around Powai lake that is home to several crocodiles. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
The plan is to have barges that will allow citizens to sail around Powai lake that is home to several crocodiles. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

MTDC plans crocodile safari in Powai lake, seeks Mumbai civic body nod

By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:51 PM IST
As part of its initiative to boost tourism in the city, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has sought a nod by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to start crocodile safari boating in Powai lake
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Experts condemn appointment of RSS affiliate for implementation of NEP

By Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:49 PM IST
Scientists and researchers from various institutes have raised objections over the decision of the ministry of education to appoint Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal to a Niti Aayog committee for implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP).
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP